Superpower! – a participatory project on collective empathy and the impact of the environment on students’ well-being

In the framework of the Art&Well-being project, Cluj Cultural Centre hosts Ling Tan’s SUPERPOWER! Workshops in Cluj-Napoca on May 24th-25th and June 2nd-3rd. 

UK based artist Ling Tan is one of the artists selected through the Art & Well-being open call for projects that explore the relation between art and well-being. Her project, SUPERPOWER! is a participatory project that allows people to make sense of their complex interaction with the city, exploring the collective empathy and impact of the built environment on the well-being of the city’s inhabitants through their innate subjective perception. Using a mobile data collection website that allows participants to record observations and responses in different places using touch and hand gestures designed by themselves, the participants will build a data map of things relevant to them and their community, reflecting their perception of certain public spaces as they wander around the city. The data is to be collected in real time, giving participants the opportunity to interpret and discuss their experiences and concerns. The results will be presented on an interactive visual platform, through which the public can make sense of the data collected and can express their own opinions. 

Given the challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic, the project was adapted and takes the form of two online workshops. Participants are selected through an open call aimed at students from Cluj-Napoca who live in the Hașdeu university campus area. The artist will work with two groups of ten students each. Following the first online session, participants are invited to physically explore the campus area. During their walks, they access through their mobile phones  a customized web platform that allows them to record their observations and feelings in relation to the places they explore. The two workshops take place on May 24th-25th and June 2nd-3rd and they follow a similar format, with activities taking place on the first day from 17:00 to 19:00 and on the second day from 17:00 to 18:00. 

More info about the open call here.

Ling Tan (www.lingql.com) is an artist, maker, and coder working within the field of social engagement, technology, citizen participation and politics. Originally trained as an architect, her work explores citizens’ interaction with the built environment and our collective agency and responsibility in tackling complex issues surrounding our cities. Her work is exhibited internationally in places such as Centre Pompidou (France), Victoria and Albert Museum (UK)  Barbican (UK), and Wits Art Museum (South Africa).

SUPERPOWER! is an art project presented within the Art & Well-being (AWE) project, which explores the potential of arts to enhance individual and community well-being. The project connects four organizations – Cluj Cultural Centre (Romania), Bozar, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels (Belgium), UGM | Maribor Art Gallery (Slovenia) and Bruno Kessler Foundation (Italy) – and it is co-funded by the European Commission, through the Creative Europe programme.